Affirming and inclusive services for LGBTQ seniors
WestMass ElderCare’s LGBTQ+ support offers the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQ+) community and our allies opportunities to meet one another and grow in our identities.
Gathering in Our Communities
The RSC is proud to both host and support monthly gatherings that bring our community of LGBTQ+ older adults together! Meetings are open to LGBTQ+ older adults (60+), younger partners, & friends.
The RSC is proud to offer virtual and in-person Wednesday gatherings to bring our community of LGBTQ+ older adults together! Meetings are open to LGBTQ+ older adults (60+), younger partners, & friends.
June 7, 2023: In-Person
4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Holyoke Council on Aging
291 Pine Street, Holyoke
In collaboration with the Holyoke Council on Aging, the Rainbow Social Club will gather for an early dinner and an evening of playing, “Rainbow Quest,” an LGBTQ+ board game. Please RSVP to RainbowSocialClub@wmeldercare.org.
June 14, 2023: In-Person
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Belchertown Senior Center
60 State Street, Belchertown
Check out the social coffee hour in Belchertown – a space to sip coffee and chat with LGBTQ+ neighbors.
June 6, 2023: In-Person
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Amherst Senior Center
70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst
Check out the new Amherst coffee hour! No format. No agenda. Just community! For ages 50+ and allies.
Screening of Gen Silent
June 22, 2023
Bangs Community Center
70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst
A screening of Gen Silent, a documentary about older LGBTQ+ adults, sponsored by the Amherst Senior Center and made possible by Highland Valley Elder Services. Open to all ages!
Holyoke Pride Fest
June 17, 2023
Veterans Park in Holyoke
We’ll be tabling at the Holyoke Pride Fest this year! Come say hello! Let us know if you’d like to volunteer at the table.
Steering Committee: In-person/virtual hybrid
First Wednesdays of the Month: 4:00–5:00 pm
Want to plan future gatherings or events with a great team of people? Join us for our next meeting! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Other LGBTQ+ Groups to Check Out
Pathways Café: (3rd Tuesdays, 11 a.m., Metro-West area): Contact Julie at email@example.com.
Rainbow Seniors: (Wednesdays, 2 p.m., Berkshire County): Contact RainbowSeniorsBerks@yahoo.com.
Rainbow Elders: (1st and 3rd Thursdays, 1 p.m., Franklin County): Contact RainbowElders@lifepathma.org.
An important update:
Due to low attendance at the virtual gatherings, the Rainbow Social Club steering committee has decided to discontinue our virtual offering and redirect members to the Rainbow Elders group at LifePath, which has regular and well-attended virtual meetings. They gather from 1 pm to 2:30 pm on the first and third Thursday of the month. Please click this LINK to register. If you have any questions regarding the meetings, please contact the Rainbow Elders at 413-773-5555 X1242 or 978-544-2259 X1242, or by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to learn more about the Rainbow Social Club or know whenever we announce a new event? Stay in touch and join our mailing list by emailing email@example.com.
Reach Out Any Time
Do you have questions or ideas for events? Are you an LGBTQ+ senior, partner, younger friend, or ally who’s new to the RSC and want to connect before joining event? Maybe you want to join the Rainbow Social Club Steering Committee and help plan future activities and events? Whatever the case, email us at RainbowSocialClub@wmeldercare.org to express your interest!
Register for an Upcoming Event
Why are LGBTQ support programs important?
Offering programs that address the needs and interests of LGBTQ older people is one concrete step we can take to create welcoming, safe and LGBTQ-affirming spaces, where all LGBTQ older adults can be their authentic selves, just like their peers.
In multiple studies, it has been found that LGBTQ older people widely fear accessing services, with transgender elders especially concerned because of high rates of being denied services or receiving inferior services.
In addition, the added stress of dealing with decades of discrimination means that LGBTQ older people are at a greater risk of physical and mental illnesses, and other issues, such as depression, disability, chronic illnesses, poverty, social isolation, poor nutrition and premature mortality.*
By having programs that explicitly recognize and celebrate LGBTQ individuals, as well as understand and meet their needs, we can ensure that we are providing equitable care for all.
* From SAGE | LGBT Aging Project
The LGBT Aging Project
A program of Fenway Health ensuring LGBT seniors have equal access to life-prolonging services, programs, and protections. https://fenwayhealth.org/the-fenway-institute/lgbt-aging-project/
SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders)
National LGBTQ elder services and advocacy organization.
Has hotline, mentorship program, and much more.
National Resource Center for LGBTQ Aging
A technical assistance resource center providing support to the LGBTQ elder community.
LifePath | Rainbow Elders
Sibling program in Franklin County for LGBTQIA+ elders.
Part of LifePath senior services organizations.
Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County
Sibling program in Berkshire County for LGBTQ seniors.